Star Trek: Picard Showrunner on Doing Right By "Next Generation" Crew
Star Trek: Picard Showrunner Terry Matalas on giving The Next Generation crew the kind of proper sendoff that The Original Series crew had.
When some of the Star Trek: The Original Series cast passed the cinematic torch to The Next Generation crew in 1994's Generations, Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) & company would continue their adventures for three more films until the maligned 2002 Nemesis killed the franchise's viability as sustainable films until 2009's J.J. Abrams' soft TOS reboot with the Kelvin universe timeline. Since then, Picard executive producer and showrunner Terry Matalas is looking to right that ship with the legacy sequel's third and final season.
"I think the original series had a final send-off with 'Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country,'" Matalas told Entertainment Weekly. "This [TNG] cast never really had that. So that was the goal from the beginning, to send 'em off in one final adventure that was both thrilling and deeply personal." TNG was the Star Trek franchise's first live-action spinoff in syndication and away from network television, given TOS' run on NBC. The series would outlast its predecessor, spanning seven seasons, which would become a tradition with future spinoffs Deep Space Nine and Voyager. It would be network UPN's second Trek series Enterprise that would fall short lasting only four seasons before its cancellation in 2005, and it wouldn't be until 2017 in the streaming era would the franchise return to TV with Discovery.
"It was this or bust, so I had to go hard," Matalas said. "The good news is I think everybody really wanted to do it. It was something that was in their hearts. The cast certainly wanted to return. They're all lifelong friends. And another chance for them to be reunited on a starship? Who wouldn't say yes to that? The pressure is really finding a story that's worthy of that."
Season three of Star Trek: Picard marks the return of Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, LeVar Burton, and Daniel Davis, and holdovers Stewart, Brent Spiner, Michelle Hurd, and Jeri Ryan. In addition, Amanda Plummer plays the villain Vadic during the upcoming season, which premieres this Thursday on Paramount+.